$20 for Run Free Fake-Marathon Registration and Gear ($40 Value)

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In a Nutshell

After receiving official apparel and gear, participants stage photos of their "progress" in a fake marathon that takes place on February 2

The Fine Print

Expires Mar 2nd, 2013. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Limit 1 per visit. Online registration required by 1/11/13 to ensure materials are received by race day. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

People trust photographic evidence, which is why so many are convinced the Loch Ness Monster existed and George Washington is a hoax. Fool them photographically with this Groupon.

$20 for Registration to Fake Marathon and Gear ($40 Value)

A full registration package includes a numbered racing bib, sticker, race program, bracelet, and T-shirt, as well as a predetermined result time to be listed on runfreerace.com. Participants stage and share photographs of their "training process" before race day, then take creative snapshots of themselves running (or walking, or crawling) at any location they choose on February 2. The event's organizers then amass the social-media contributions of accomplices worldwide, thereby gathering visual evidence of an event that never actually occurred. This Groupon should be redeemed by January 11 to ensure that the registration package is received before race day.

Run Free

On February 2, Run Free will bank on the fact that a picture is worth a thousand words—even if those words are filthy, filthy lies. Though the marathon has registered hundreds of people from more than 20 countries, none of them will actually compete. They'll sport official racing bibs, read through a race program, don a race bracelet, and even receive a result time, which, like the outcome of the next six presidential elections, has been determined ahead of time and listed online. But the race itself comes as advertised: run-free.

Instead of wearing out their feet, participants will work out their fingers. As part of a social-media experiment, Run Free creator Ridiculo.us encourages those who register to snap pictures of their alleged training methods before the event, then to photograph moments from their own version of the marathon come race day. "Runners" might stage still frames of themselves clambering over outdoor obstacles, leap-frogging a friend, or stopping at a refreshment station manned by their supporters.

Designated tags for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter enable racers to disseminate their make-believe milestones, and Run Free will host the best and most original photos on its website. By collecting evidence of its existence, the marathon hopes to gauge the reach of the Internet and the depth of human gullibility while simultaneously sparking creativity and a sense of companionship among its fake runners.

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